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Stagedoom

Not on view

Stagedoom

Artist: Bob Thompson (American, 1937 - 1966)

Date: 1962
Medium: Opaque watercolor and charcoal on wove paper
Dimensions:
Overall: 21 3/8 x 18 1/4in. (54.3 x 46.4cm)
Signed: Recto, lower left (brown ink, in script): 'B. Thompson '62' Verso, center (felt tip ink in script): 'B. Thompson '62 / Stagedoom'
Credit Line: Museum Purchase, in Part, with Funds given by Kay WalkingStick
Object number: 96.31
Label Text
Bob Thompson appropriated partial and entire compositions by Old Master artists such as Titian (c. 1488-1576) or Goya (1746-1828), but re-envisioned them with hot, saturated colors. His recreations of traditional subjects are sensual, dreamlike examinations of the psychological complexities and sexual tensions between men and women. See, for example, his version of The Judgment of Paris, in gallery 1 west.

MEM (2011)

Bob and Carol Thompson traveled to Europe in 1962 and settled on the Spanish island of Ibiza in August of that year. In Spain Thompson's affinity for the work of Goya deepened. The gouache on view here, Stagedoom, is one of several works on paper based on Goya’s Los Caprichos, which is a scathing allegorical study, in eighty intaglio prints, of human weakness and depravity. Stagedoom is derived from Los Caprichos’ second plate, “El si pronuncian y la mano alargan/Al primero que llega" ("They swear to be faithful yet marry the first man who proposes”).

In a 1965 interview Bob Thompson stated that he began copying compositional elements from old master European paintings because, "You can't draw a new form...[the] human figure almost encompasses every form there is... it hit me that why don't I work with these things that are already there...because that is what I respond to most of all." Thompson appropriated partial and entire compositions but painted freely with hot, saturated colors to refashion the original work into a dreamlike image entirely his own. Thompson scholar Judith Wilson has compared the artist's creative reinterpretations to that of the jazz musician's improvisations on standards.

Thompson traveled to Europe in 1962 and his affinity for the work of the Spanish artist Francisco de Goya (1746-1828) deepened. Thompson made a number of gouache paintings on paper based on Los Caprichos, Goya's scathing allegorical study, in eighty intaglio prints, of human weakness and depravity. Stagedoom, one of these gouaches, is compositionally derived from Los Caprichos' second plate, "El si pronuncian y la mano alargan/ Al primero que llega" ("They swear to be faithful yet marry the first man who proposes").
Copyright
© Estate of Bob Thompson, Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, LLC, New York, NY.